Terrell James: One Eye Sees, The Other Feels

Posted on: July 19th, 2022

Terrell James:
One Eye Sees, The Other Feels

September 16, 2022 — May 6, 2023

The Mobile Museum of Art proudly presents One Eye Sees, the Other Feels, which is the first solo Museum show for Southern artist Terrell James.

James is a fourth-generation Houstonian and seventh-generation Texan, and she is a graduate of Sewanee University. Her work has been shown in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.  She has had more than sixty solo exhibitions. In 2016, James received the Texas Artist of the Year Award from Art League Houston. James’s work is in collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Menil Collection, Houston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Early in her career, she spent five years sorting and documenting the work of many artists and museums for the Texas Project of the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. Terrell taught at the Glassell School, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for over fourteen years and served as chair of the Painting Department there.  She has been a guest professor at Rice University as well as served as the arts editor for several editions of Gulf Coast Journal of Art and Literature, the graduate publication of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston.

James’s exhibition for the Mobile Museum of Art is titled One Eye Sees, The Other Feels, a quotation from the writings of Swiss artist Paul Klee. It features more than thirty abstract works, including drawings and paintings ranging in size from small to monumental.

This exhibition helps meet two goals of the Museum’s five-year institutional strategic plan — one, to focus on the art of our place, and second, the art of our time. Terrell James: One Eye Sees, The Other Feels is generously supported by the Crampton Trust, established by Katharine Crampton Cochrane. The Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the City of Mobile support all Museum exhibitions and programs. One Eye Sees, The Other Feels will be on view at the Mobile Museum of Art from September 16, 2022, through April 2, 2023.

Artwork featured in thumbnail: Above Below, 2018. Oil on Canvas, 66 in x 66 in. Collection of the Artist.


Wanda Sullivan: Gardens of Hope

Posted on: July 18th, 2022

Wanda Sullivan:
Gardens of Hope

September 16, 2022 — May 6, 2023

Gardens of Hope is the first solo museum exhibition of Wanda Sullivan’s work. She has lived in Mobile since third grade. She loves flowers and is an avid gardener. Most of her imagery comes from her large midtown yard or the campus of Spring Hill College, where she teaches and maintains a studio.

Sullivan received her BFA from the University of South Alabama and her MFA in painting from the University of Mississippi. She has exhibited her work nationally in galleries and museums, including the Cole Pratt Gallery in New Orleans; Alabama Contemporary Art Center in Mobile; Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA; the Wichita Center for the Arts in Wichita, KS; Santa Clara University Gallery in Santa Clara, CA; and the Xavier University Gallery in Cincinnati, OH.

In Gardens of Hope, Sullivan examines the intersection between the natural world, her gardens, and the effects of climate change. About the flowers and nature featured in her work, Sullivan says, “My flowers are beautiful, but they are monsters—contemporary, biomorphic Frankensteins. They are designed to seduce the viewer and lure them in, just like our dependency on fossil fuels, phones, tablets, and computers do.”

This exhibition helps meet two goals of the Museum’s five-year institutional strategic plan — one, to focus on the art of our place, and second, the art of our time. Wanda Sullivan: Gardens of Hope is generously supported by the Crampton Trust, established by Katharine Crampton Cochrane. The Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the City of Mobile support all Museum exhibitions and programs. Gardens of Hope will be on view at the Mobile Museum of Art from September 16, 2022, through April 2, 2023.

WANDA SULLIVAN: Gardens of Hope

Produced in conjunction with the exhibition, this publication reproduces the artwork in the exhibition and photographs of Wanda’s personal garden where she draws much of her inspiration. Deborah Velders wrote the introduction, and art historian LaVada Raouf provided an essay.

Available for purchase in The Art Store with shipping options available


Artwork featured in thumbnail: Purple Gladiolus II, 2021. Oil on panel, 30 x 30 x 2 18 in. Collection of the Artist.


3 American Artists

Posted on: February 8th, 2022

3 American Artists

May 3, 2022 – May 14, 2023

Mobile Museum of Art presents 3 American Artists, an exhibition showcasing the work of three renowned African American artists: Mark Bradford, Barkley L. Hendricks, and Glenn Ligon. These artworks are loans from the collection of the Art Bridges Foundation.

This exhibition features artists who have defined the art world through their works that focus largely on themes of race, gender, sexual identity, class, and pop culture.

The Art Bridges Foundation is a private operating foundation whose mission is to increase access to American art across the U.S. Established by arts patron and philanthropist Alice Walton, Art Bridges supports museums of all sizes to provide collection loans, traveling exhibitions, multidisciplinary programming, and more in order to further connect museums and their local communities.

Mark Bradford is a Los Angeles-based artist best known for his large-scale abstract paintings and collages exploring the effects of class, race, and gender on urban society. On view at MMofA will be Bradford’s monumental collage Thelxiepeia, named for a mythological Greek siren and made of tissue-like endpapers used by hairdressers.

The late Barkley L. Hendricks (American, 1945-2017), an American painter and photographer, is known for his life-sized realist paintings of Black Americans. In Brenda P — thought to be Brenda Payton of the Philadelphia R&B group Brenda and the Tabulations — his subject confidently stands with hands attached to her hips, decked out in classic 1970s fashion.

Glenn Ligon uses text and light in his conceptual works to explore race, language, desire, sexuality, and identity. Untitled (I Am Somebody) references a 1950s poem written by civil rights activist Reverend William Holmes Borders and later popularized by Reverend Jesse Jackson.

3 American Artists was made possible through the generous support from Art Bridges. Support for this, and all museum exhibitions and programs, is provided by the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the City of Mobile.

About the Art Bridges Foundation
Art Bridges is the vision of philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton and is dedicated to expanding access to American art in all regions across the United States. Since 2017, Art Bridges has been creating and supporting programs that bring outstanding works of American art out of storage and into communities. Art Bridges partners with a growing network of nearly 150 museums of all sizes and locations to provide financial and strategic support for exhibition development, collection loans from Art Bridges and other museums, and programs designed to educate, inspire, and deepen engagement with local audiences. The Art Bridges Collection features American masterworks of historic American art to the present day and encompasses painting, sculpture, photography, among other mediums. For more information on who we reach and how to partner with us, visit www.ArtBridgesFoundation.org and follow us @ArtBridgesFoundation.



100 Years of Art From The Collection

Posted on: March 11th, 2021

This exhibition offers “snapshots” of the Museum’s permanent collection presenting art, design, and crafts produced in each of the 10 decades (100 years) between 1913 and 2013.

Any given decade may include diverse, and often divergent works related only by having been created during the same 10-year time period. Any section might combine crafts, fine art, “folk” (self-taught) art, and designed objects presented in unusual or unexpected juxtapositions. The installation is designed to provide fresh perspectives and insights about the works shown and the timeframes in which they were created.

Gordon Parks: Segregation Story in Mobile, 1956

Posted on: June 17th, 2020

Gordon Parks: Segregation Story in Mobile, 1956

January 16 – December 31, 2021

Mobile Museum of Art brings the iconic photographs by Gordon Parks during the Jim Crow era back to the city where they were captured with the special exhibition, Gordon Parks: Segregation Story in Mobile, 1956.

This exhibition of photographs documents the everyday activities and rituals of one extended black family, the Thorntons, in Mobile and Shady Grove, Alabama, during segregation. The images were originally published in a 1956 photo essay by Parks, an assignment from Life magazine after the Montgomery bus boycotts, but have come to be known around the world for helping to inspire the Civil Rights movement.

In an essay accompanying the portfolio of photographs Segregation Story produced in 2012 by The Gordon Parks Foundation, noted American cultural historian and art critic Maurice Berger explains,

“These quiet, compelling photographs elicit a reaction that Parks believed was critical to undoing racial prejudice: empathy. Throughout his career, he endeavored to help viewers, white and black, understand and share the feelings of others. It was with this goal in mind that he set out to document the lives of the Thornton family, creating images meant to alter the way Americans viewed one another and, ultimately, themselves.”

These photographs are lent to MMofA by the Gordon Parks Foundation.

 Exhibition generously underwritten by Mobile County Commissioner, Merceria Ludgood

Title 1 school program support for the project from the Altmayer Foundation

Community Programming support by Mobile City Council members:  Joel Daves (District 5), Gina Gregory (District 7), Bess Rich (District 6), Frederick D. Richardson, Jr. (District 1), C.J. Small (District 3), and John C. Williams (District 4).  Mr. Williams will support a lecture by Dr. John Edwin Mason, author of an upcoming book on Gordon Parks.

Content created for the special exhibition

Toward Equal Justice: A Conversation

Gordon Parks: Segregation Story in Mobile, 1956

Generous support for these videos provided by Art Bridges.

Gallery guides provided

Toward Equal Justice: A Legacy of Resistance, Sacrifice, and Service
Timeline of Mobile Civil Rights events and African American history created in conjunction with special exhibition, Gordon Parks: Segregation Story in Mobile, 1956.

NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS TIMELINE: A Selection of Some of the Movement’s Most Important Events

GORDON PARKS: Segregation Story in Mobile, 1956



BESA: A Code of Honor

Posted on: November 13th, 2019

BESA: A Code of Honor

January 17, 2020 – December 31, 2020

All photographs in this exhibition are by Norman H. Gershman

BESA: A Code of Honor is about the ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ – non-Jews who risked their lives saving Jews during the Holocaust. It is comprised of portraits and texts about Muslim families in Albania, who saved Jews during the Holocaust, converging between two seemingly opposed worlds. The remarkable assistance afforded to Jews during this time is grounded in BESA, the code of honor which still exists today. This help should be understood as a matter of national honor. These acts originated from compassion, loving kindness and a desire to help those in need – even those of another faith or origin.

Albania, a small and mountainous country on the southeast coast of the Balkan peninsula, was home to a population of 803,000. Of those only two hundred were Jews. After Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, many Jews found refuge in Albania. No accurate figures exist regarding their number; however, different sources estimate that 600-1,800 Jewish refugees entered that country from Germany, Austria, Serbia, Greece and Yugoslavia, in the hope to continue on to the Land of Israel or other places of refuge.

Following the German occupation in 1943, the Albanian population, in an extraordinary act, refused to comply with the occupier’s orders to turn over lists of Jews residing within the country’s borders. Moreover, the various governmental agencies provided many Jewish families with fake documentation that allowed them to intermingle amongst the rest of the population. The Albanians not only protected their Jewish citizens, but also provided sanctuary to Jewish refugees who had arrived in Albania, when it was still under Italian rule, and now found themselves faced with the danger of deportation to concentration camps.

The remarkable assistance afforded to the Jews was grounded in Besa, a code of honor which still today serves as the highest ethical code in the country. Besa, means literally “to keep the promise.” One who acts according to Besa is someone who keeps his word, someone to whom one can trust one’s life and the lives of one’s family.

The help afforded to Jews and non-Jews alike should be understood as a matter of national honor. The Albanians went out of their way to provide assistance; moreover, they competed with each other for the privilege of saving Jews. These acts originated from compassion, loving-kindness and a desire to help those in need, even those of another faith or origin.

Albania, the only European country with a Muslim majority, succeeded in the place where other European nations failed. Almost all Jews living within Albanian borders during the German occupation, those of Albanian origin and refugees alike, were saved, except members of a single family. Impressively, there were more Jews in Albania at the end of the war than beforehand.

For more information about the Righteous Among the Nations, visit the American Society for Yad Vashem website>>

About this exhibition, al.com says:

“In a world that tends to focus on extraordinary heroes wearing capes and wielding amazing powers, it’s good to be reminded that heroes can be very ordinary people too.”

Sponsored by:
Gulf Coast Center for the Holocaust and Human Rights Education
Mobile Area Jewish Federation
Mobile Jewish Film Festival
City of Mobile


SOUTHERN MASTERS II: Pinky MM Bass, Ruth Miller, & Miriam N. Omura

Posted on: November 12th, 2019


Pinky MM Bass, Ruth Miller, & Miriam N. Omura

February 7, 2020 – November 29, 2020

In this exhibition, three artists living and working in the South—Pinky MM Bass, Ruth Miller, and Miriam N. Omura—dissect, manipulate, and push the historically feminine domestic practices of sewing, weaving, embroidery, applique, and crochet into new territory. These artists are masters of their medium who have developed labor-intensive creative processes over many years, and created work that is anything but domestic or traditional. Each artist, with her own unique voice and background, explores themes of identity, culture, race, aging, and inner reflection. This exhibition presents a selection of work from throughout their careers that embodies these themes.


An Art Historian Collects: The David E. Brauer Collection

Posted on: November 12th, 2019


The David E. Brauer Collection
February 7, 2020 – November 29, 2020

This exhibition explores the question, “what does an art historian collect?”

Art was the focus of Houston-based art historian David E. Brauer’s professional life for well over half a century. Brauer considered his idiosyncratic, personal art collection more an “accumulation” rather than a collection, reflecting the chance encounters and opportunities in his life’s experience.

For the purposes of this exhibition, the Mobile Museum of Art organized the work into 4 categories:  European, Asian, American, (with subset of Texas art), and artists of the U.K..  There are artworks by the famous and unknown in the history of art, but all reflect the collector’s profession, life experience and diverse interests ranging from NASA’s space program to poetry, literature, and music.

Born in Scotland and raised in London, Brauer attended London’s St. Martin’s School of Art (1960 – 1965), where he studied both studio art and art history. Prior to moving to Houston in 1976, Brauer worked at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, and taught at North Oxfordshire College of Art and Technology. Brauer is the former head of the History of Art Department of the Glassell School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Over the course of 30+ years, he taught at the University of Houston, Rice University, and the erudite Women’s Institute of Houston. He has curated and co-curated many exhibitions, including a seminal 2001 exhibition, “Pop Art: U.S./U.K. Connections: 1956-1966” at the Menil Collection in Houston.

Prior to this exhibition, only small selections of Brauer’s collection have been seen publicly.

Key-Sook Geum

Posted on: September 25th, 2019

October 11, 2019 – January 24, 2021

Visit Mobile Museum of Art’s Rodning Asian Gallery to see new work from Key-Sook Geum, on loan from Callan Contemporary, New Orleans.

Key-Sook Geum creates immaculate sculptural objects, dually inspired by traditional Korean garment forms and the lineage of haute couture. Time intensive and meticulous in execution, at once delicate and dramatic, these conceptual sculptures embody spiritual and humanistic ideals that resonate across cultures. With silk gauze, faceted beads, crystals, coral, and semiprecious stones interwoven with red, black, and silver wire, Geum integrates Eastern and Western notions of positive and negative space. In wall-based works as well as hanging mobiles, the sculptures are exquisitely responsive to variations in natural and directional lighting, casting prismatic webs of light and shadow. The forms and shadows move subtly as their contours flutter on air currents in the room, quivering like flower petals and evoking the East Asian concept of “qi,” the life-breath that vibrates within our awareness.

geumA professor emerita of textile arts and fashion design at Hongik University (Seoul), Geum has exhibited in cultural capitals such as New York, Chicago, Berlin, Vienna, Beijing, and Tokyo, and has been commissioned by major international corporations to create monumental installations as much as four to ten stories high. She received global acclaim as costume director for the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, where her innovative designs were praised by critics as unique in the history of the Olympic Games. Her sculptural works are included in institutional collections such as the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) and the China National Silk Museum (Hangzhou), as well as in significant corporate and private collections around the world.

This selection of work will be presented alongside work from the MMofA collection.

FROM FORT TO PORT & BEYOND: An Architectural History of Mobile

Posted on: August 28th, 2019

FROM FORT TO PORT & BEYOND: An Architectural History of Mobile

October 11, 2019 – March 29, 2020

Architecture is generally defined as the art and science of designing structures (buildings) and urban spaces. Such design, of necessity, reflects the social and cultural values of people and their collective sense of place and community.

This exhibition, organized by the Mobile Museum of Art with guest curator and architectural historian, Cart Blackwell, explores the architectural history of this extraordinary community—one of the twenty oldest continuously inhabited cities in the United States. Presented through a selective timeline of photographs, models, architectural plans, maps, elevations, building materials, videotaped interviews and tours, and publications—the exhibition documents the changing social and cultural story of its places and people over a period of centuries, spanning Mobile’s unique and long history.

The exhibition’s development is guided by architectural historian, Cartledge Blackwell III, with several consulting historians and curators, including Joycelyn Finley, Paige Largue, Tom McGehee, Stephen McNair, Philip Carr and John Sledge. Additional support is provided by Mobile area architects Douglas Kearley and Nick Holmes III.